A good checking account can help you streamline your spending and make personal transactions easier. Each account has its own features and perks, and here are some of the most useful checking account options. 

Monthly Fees

The monthly fee for checking accounts isn’t always a bad thing. Some premium checking accounts offer you advanced features like overdraft protection and free transfers, which can save you money if you frequently need use these features. Some banks will waive the monthly fee if you keep a minimum amount in the checking account. 

Minimum Balance Requirements

Checking accounts vary greatly in the amount that’s required to waive a monthly service fee. For more full-featured accounts, the minimum balance could be several thousand dollars. For a smaller account, there may be a $500 minimum or no minimum at all. Note that you’re allowed to go below this minimum in the account, but you may have to pay extra service fees. 

ATM Fees

Some personal checking accounts will waive ATM fees for premium account holders. This can come in handy if you travel a lot. Some banks even reimburse international ATM fees. 

Transaction Fees

It’s important to read the fine details of your account. Some banks will charge per transaction, such as a small fee for cashing checks or sending funds. You can often avoid these fees by choosing a premium account. 

Online Access

If you are an on-the-go checking account user, take a tour of the bank’s mobile site and online presence before signing up for an account. Some checking accounts offer great mobile features, such as smartphone apps that allow you to deposit checks on the fly. 

Link to Savings Account

One helpful checking account feature is a link to the personal savings account. Some banks will allow you to use the savings account as overdraft protection. 

Choosing the Best Account

Each checking account will probably have a combination of these benefits, but may lack some of the others. So which account is the best? It will all depend on your spending habits and the amount of cash flow that you expect to have. Before you sit down with the bank, identify the top 3-5 traits that your ideal spending account would have, and make sure that the policy covers your bases. As long as you are open in communicating with your customer service representatives, most banks will be able to help you find an account that has the features that you need.